A free Community Care webinar on 31 October will tackle social workers’ most common fears about appearing in court, while offering advice on the pitfalls to avoid.
With growing numbers of care applications and private family law proceedings, and a rise in deprivation of liberty and other Mental Capacity Act cases, both children’s and adults’ social workers are more likely to be attending court more frequently. They often face significant pressure to meet statutory timescales and avoid delay for vulnerable people.
Shefali Shah, a former local authority solicitor who provides legal training for social workers and other professionals, recognises that giving oral evidence and facing cross-examination in the witness box can cause great anxiety.
During the webinar, Shefali will share tips to help social workers feel more confident about appearing in court. The webinar will include a question and answer session about situations you find difficult in court. It will also cover:
- simple things social workers can do to be more prepared for court processes;
- common ‘mistakes’ that practitioners can make and how to avoid them;
- how to respond to typical lines of cross examination.
Shefali Shah was a local authority solicitor and manager, she still practices in child and family law. She has been legal advisor to the Independent Review Mechanism for fostering and adoption in England, Adoption UK and advises adoption charities. She was a lecturer in child law at Anglia Ruskin University and is director of of Kingsley Knight, a legal training provider for social workers, foster carers and other professionals. She is the author of Key Changes to Family Justice (CoramBAAF, 2016).
The webinar will take place on Tuesday 31 October from 10.30 to 11.30am. The live webinar is open to anyone who registers but the recording of the webinar will only be available after the event to those who attended the live webinar and subscribers to Community Care Inform Children or Community Care Inform Adults.